How the U.S. Government Wastes $1 Trillion a Year
Billkozy on 05/08/2009
|A Special Report by Ryan Grim with Joseph K. Vetter featured in Reader's Digest focused on how the government wastes nearly $1 trillion a year of taxpayer money, including anecdotes such as the $100 million Earth-monitoring satellite that was supposed to orbit the planet a decade ago but instead still sits in a closet in Maryland. Storing it costs $1 million a year. |
Congressional staff members from both major parties assisted the reporters in compiling the list of wasteful spending, along with the following watchdog groups and agencies: OMB Watch, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Citizens Against Government Waste, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the Government Accountability Office.
$1 trillion is approximately equal to the amount the IRS collects in personal income taxes each year, and is about a third of the country's total annual budget. But what is defined as "wasteful spending"? The Government Accountability Office's David Walker says that it is "the government's failure to give taxpayers the most for their money." The reporters described their method this way: "If it smells rotten, it's waste. And there is plenty to sniff out. Our government regularly pays for products and services it never gets, wildly overpays companies to do things it could do more cheaply itself, loses money outright due to lax accounting and oversight, fails to collect what it's owed, and antes up for unnecessary programs."
What can taxpayers do? According to the Government Accountability Office there are 3 necessities:
1. Incentives to do the right thing
2. Transparency so that we can check to see if the right thing is done.
3. Accountability for people who do the wrong thing.
He translates this to indicate that we must write to our Representatives, and demand the right thing done. And if they don't listen, we must vote them out of office.
Here are 10 of the worst ways they determined this capitol waste of capital occurs. Good luck with the quiz, and please rate it afterward if you have a chance. Thank you!
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